Funding to grow volunteering programme

volunteers with refugees as part of the football and language refugee programme - posing for a photo
Leeds Sport are delighted to announce that a funding injection from the Footsteps Fund will help us grow our sports volunteering programmes this semester.

Our Gryphons into Schools and Gryphons in the Community programmes will see almost 40 students deployed into local schools and community groups to deliver sport this semester.

students on rowing machines with volunteers encouraging them

The Footsteps Fund uses kind donations from alumni and friends of the University of Leeds to support initiatives that enhance the student experience and have an invaluable impact on individual students as well as the wider community. Students involved in Leeds Sport’s off campus volunteering programmes will develop their own skills and broaden their horizons as well as bring sport to new audiences across the city.

Following the success of last year’s pilot project delivering football and English language tuition at the Leeds Refugee Forum in Harehills, the Footsteps funding will help us to deploy volunteers to support four more community groups through our Gryphons in the Community programme this academic year. Students will get off campus and deliver boxing sessions alongside Unorthobox, after school sports at the LS14 Trust in Seacroft, and table tennis and boxing at the Reginald Centre in Chapeltown. A little closer to home students will also get their hands dirty fixing bikes at the Bike Hub on campus and support various cycling activities up at the Brownlee Centre.

volunteers and refugees outside smiling, playing football

The Footsteps fund will also enable us to deliver a new schools programme alongside the Leeds Rhinos Foundation(LRF). Volunteers from the University of Leeds Netball club will work alongside LRF coaches to deliver netball in primary schools across the city. By working with a qualified coach, students will have the opportunity to develop their coaching skills in a supportive environment as well as share their passion for netball with young people in Leeds. This is a partnership we hope to grow to encompass more sports and schools in the coming years.

The funding will primarily be used to support comprehensive training, giving student’s formal qualifications and a meaningful legacy to their volunteering as well as enhancing their University experience.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport at the University of Leeds said:

We are delighted to have the support of the Footsteps Fund to enhance and grow our volunteering offer. There is a great appetite from both students and local schools and community groups for these types of partnerships and we are really excited about the impact which the Footsteps Funding will have’

Supported by donations to the footsteps fund by alumni and friends of the University of Leeds

More information about the Footsteps Fund can be found here.
More information about Leeds Sport’s volunteering programme can be found here.

University of Leeds at 2019 Leeds Sport Awards

Leeds sport awards 2019 finalists announced

The University of Leeds Netball Club and Boat Club have been made finalists in the Student Sport, Special Contribution Category of the 2019 Leeds Sports Awards.

Netball have increased their outreach work this year and are doing lots for the local community. Seven of their members are working towards coaching qualifications to enable them to coach in local primary schools across Leeds every week. Over ten of the club’s members umpire at social leagues across Leeds, with some working towards their umpiring qualifications too. In addition to this, 2 of their members run a weekly social netball session, open to anyone who wants to try out netball or play in a relaxed environment. On top of all this, the teams are excelling in their BUCS leagues, raising money for charity and trying to increase the profile of netball across the district.

Netball team warming up

Boat Club want rowing to be a part of breaking down barriers to higher and further education. 23 of their members coach in the community as part of an outreach programme where they deliver weekly sessions in local secondary schools. They aim to not only get young people active, but also build their confidence.
Once a term, the club volunteer at the RowLeeds Indoor Champs, where hundreds of school students come together to put their training to the test. The club also work closely with The Gorse Boat Club (TGBC). TGBC was founded in 2016 and is the school boat club for 5 academies and 1 sixth form centre from across Leeds. The two clubs often train together and UoLBC invite TGBC boats to their club regattas at the end of each term.

This year the boat club have also chosen to focus on mental health, working to improve the support they give to their members. In September, their 20 committee members were trained on how to support their members mental health and they’ve introduced a clear signposting system within the club. In October they did a 12 hour ergathon outside LUU to raise money and awareness their chosen charity: Mind.

rowing boat on the water

Sports Scholar Sam Dickinson has also been made a finalist for Sportsman in the Senior Achievers Category.
Sam is a member of the UK Sport Lottery Funded World Class Performance Programme and trains at the Leeds Triathlon Centre. In 2018, he won a silver medal in the U23 event at the ITU World Championships.

Sam Dickinson posing for a photo

In addition to our students being recognised, our Sports Performance Manager, Sarah Robinson, coaches at the City of Leeds Synchronised Swimming Club, who’ve been shortlisted for Young Club/Team in the Young Achievers Category. Sarah coaches the junior team and duet/solos towards the British Championships as well as the England Talent Development Squad 2019.  

The winners will be unveiled at the awards on Thursday 28 February at the First Direct Arena.

Tickets for the event are available here
A full list of the 2019 Leeds Sports Awards nominees is available here

Varsity Cross Country Round-up

Runners at the varsity cross country men's race
The points are shared in the first Varsity event of 2019.

Leeds Beckett men won their race overall, while in the women’s race, the University of Leeds claimed the point.

the men's team runners on the start line at varsity cross country 2019

The men’s race started proceedings, with 43 runners registered from not only the universities, but from local clubs too. The 6.4km course was completed in just 18:07 by Alex Yee from Beckett who claimed first place. Nathan Marsh from the University of Leeds finished third with a time of 19:28. Leeds Beckett took the overall Varsity point; they had 3 runners place in the top 6.

Top 3 finishers in the men's race posing with Sago the pony at varsity cross country 2019

The women’s race started just after the men had set off with 21 runners on the start line, again, entries were not only from the universities, but local clubs too. The course was completed in 22:10 by Bronwen Owen from Beckett who finished first. University of Leeds sports scholar Kate Waugh finished in third place with a time of 22:42. Overall, the University of Leeds won the point, with 3 runners finishing in the top 6.

top 3 finishers in the women's cross country varsity race 2019 posing with sago the pony

In total there were 63 runners, who provided some entertaining racing and raised just over £240 for local charity, Hope Pastures. They brought Sago the pony along to the event to see the runners and supporters.

A big thank you to all the volunteers that helped make the event possible, including the course erectors/dismantlers, timekeepers, recorders, entry desk, raffle ticket sellers, marshals and supporters.

This leaves the overall varsity score poised at 1-1.

A full list of results is available here.

What’s happening at The Edge in 2019

Make 2019 your fittest year yet with our incredible challenges and courses. 

This 2019 we have loads of exciting opportunities for you to boost your health and fitness and some great events for you and your friends to train towards.

  • 3 March is our Brownlee Centre Festival of Running. Brave the new year elements and get training for an event of your choice ranging from 1 to 20 miles. Find out more here. 
  • We have two of our most popular fitness courses returning; Self Defence and Women Only Strength Training start back week commencing 4 March. Find a four week, 1-hour course to suit you. Find out more here. We even have future course dates advertised running up until November 2019 if you can’t make the March ones.
  • 29 & 30 March is the annual, nationwide Swimmathon event, with two events hosted here at The Edge. Sign up and swim distances from 400m to 5k. Sign up here. 
  • A date for your diary! Our annual Adamons Bequest Fitness Challenge returns on Thursday 21 March with £1,000 prize money up for grabs for the fittest University Students. Prizes for University of Leeds Staff and Public Edge members as well. More information to follow shortly. To register your interest please drop us an email here.

Also, make sure you are following us on social media as we’ve got loads more workout videos planned to inspire your sessions and ensure your technique is correct.

Free Weights Room Closure

The Edge

The free weights room will be closed for the below periods of time over the university exams period. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Monday 14th January08:45 – 11:15 & 13:45 – 16:15
Tuesday 15th January08:45 – 11:15 & 13:45 – 16:15
Wednesday 16th Janaury08:45 – 11:15 & 13:45 – 17:15
Thursday 17th Janaury08:45 – 11:15 & 13:45 – 17:15
Friday 18th Janaury08:45 – 11:15 & 13:45 – 16:15
Saturday 19th Janaury08:45 – 11:15
Sunday 20th JanuaryOpen
Monday 21st Janaury08:45 – 11:15 & 13:45 – 16:15
Tuesday 22nd January08:45 – 12:15 & 13:45 – 16:15
Wednesday 23rd January08:45 – 11:15 & 13:45 – 16:15
Thursday 24th January08:45 – 12:15 & 13:45 – 17:15
Friday 25th January08:45 – 10:15
Saturday 26th JanuaryBack open as normal





BBC Filming at The Edge

Fitness Suite

Next week BBC breakfast will be coming to film at The Edge. This will be taking place at the following times;

  • Tuesday 15 January, 7.45pm – 9.15pm
  • Wednesday 16 January, 6.00am – 9am

During this time the BBC will be interviewing people in the fitness suite and pool area, these will be short 5 minute interviews a couple of times each hour. While they do these interviews anyone exercising in the background may be shown briefly. If you would not like to be captured in this filming then please inform a member of staff who will be happy to help and will ensure you are not filmed.

As a result of this filming we will be opening the fitness suite 30 minutes early on Wednesday 16th January so please come down and make use of the early start for your workout.

If you have any queries about this then please contact us on




Varsity Cross Country Preview

Beckett and University of Leeds students at the start line, with the words 'let the games begin' overlaying the image

After being crowned 2018 Varsity Winners, we are determined and ready to retain the Varsity title. The Cross Country Club are the first to take on the challenge, with the Varsity Cross Country Race kicking off the 2019 campaign.

This year marks the 10th Varsity Cross Country event and it is taking place this Saturday, the 12th January.

University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University cross country runners

The races are a little different this year, with the most notable change being that the women’s and men’s race are the same distance (6.4km) and they will be starting at the same time. There are two varsity points up for grabs. The first 6 women and first 12 men to finish from each University will count towards the two separate team event scores.

This is a highly anticipated event, as it’s the opening event for Varsity 2019. We’re hopeful for a win to kick-start our title defence!

As well as being a rival competition, the day is also about giving to charity. The entry fee of £3 goes towards local charity ‘Hope Pastures’, their goal is to prevent suffering and to improve and save the lives of animals. With your donations they rescue, rehabilitate and rehome horses, ponies and donkeys in need.  On the day of the race they are even bringing one of their Shetland ponies along, keeping our supporters’ company.

Cross country runners posing for a photo with a white shetland pony

The event is open to anyone who would like to take part. All entries take place on the day, simply turn up at 10:30 at the Leeds Beckett Track Pavilion (LS6 3QT) with your £3 entry fee to get your race number. It’s that simple to get involved.

If you’re a bit overwhelmed from exams and revision, this could be a great way to unwind and de-stress.

Runner smiling with his thumbs up

For more information check out the Facebook event here.


Tom de Glanville named in England U20s Elite Player Squad

University of Leeds sports scholar Tom de Glanville has been named in the 32 man England U20s Elite Player Squad.

The announcement was made by England Rugby on Friday 4th January.

Tom de Glanville head shot

Tom studies Biology at the University of Leeds, whilst also playing for Bath Rugby A. Tom is a sports scholar here at the University which allows him to study for a world class degree and play sport at the highest level.

Tom has previously represented his country at Under 18 level, where he featured in test matches against France and Wales.

The squad will compete in the 2019 Six Nations as well as the World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina. They open their Six Nations campaign against Ireland on Friday 1 February. The side then take on France on Saturday 9 February live on Sky Sports.

The U20s next face Wales on Friday 22 February, live on S4C, before a second home fixture of the tournament with the side playing against Italy on Friday 8 March live on Sky Sports. Their final fixture of the Six Nations will be against Scotland on Friday 15 March live on Sky Sports.

The 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship will be held in May/June.

Tickets for the England under 20 fixtures can be found here.

Tom de Glanville kicking a rugby ball

Full Squad


Olly Adkins (Gloucester), Josh Basham (Durham University), Will Capon (Bristol Bears), Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks), James Dun (Bristol Bears), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester), Joel Kpoku (Saracens), Samson Ma’asi (Northampton Saints), Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors), James Scott (Worcester Warriors), Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Willis (Wasps).


Tom De Glanville (Bath), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks), Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie), Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers), Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish), Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), Cadan Murley (Harlequins), Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), Arron Reed (Sale Sharks), Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Gus Warr (Sale Sharks), Kieran Wilkinson (Sale Sharks).